Opera News, in an article about new singers to watch said, “EMILY FONS is one of the best singing actors of her generation. The mezzo’s characterizations have ranged from a sharp-elbowed, drily witty Rosina at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to an endearingly gawky Cherubino in Santa Fe and a bespectacled, man-hungry Peep-Bo in The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she was a member of that company’s Ryan Center. This past summer, the thirty-two-year-old Wisconsin native created the role of the strong-willed, resourceful Ruby in Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. “I felt an affinity to Ruby immediately. She is self-sufficient, proactive, tireless, direct and confident, but not standoffish or harsh. I get to let a lot of myself out when I’m up there embodying her physically and vocally.”
Fons, who counts Hansel and Sesto in Giulio Cesare among her favorite roles to date, cites Lorraine Hunt Lieberson as “my first mezzo love. She really had the gift of drawing people in with her voice.” Fons offers a surprising answer when asked about her own acting ability: “I don’t think anything can replace the skills gained by just getting up there and doing it. Every audition, every chance to step out onstage, will teach you something about yourself. You just have to be honest and vulnerable enough to accept those lessons, take things in stride, and always strive for improvement. One of the great things about the young-artist programs at the country’s top opera houses is the chance young singers get to watch so many people onstage. You really begin to see what works and what doesn’t.”
Ms. Fons has been lauded for her virtuosic abilities in Baroque and Bel Canto repertoire, her winning portrayals of opera’s traditional “trouser roles”, and the dramatic commitment and musicality she brings to modern works. In the past few seasons Ms. Fons has sung with The Berlin Philharmonic, The Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The International Händel Festspiele, the Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Omaha, Boston Lyric Opera, the Florentine Opera, Madison Opera, Opéra de Lille, the Ongaku-Juku Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.